FAIRFAX, VA – Rusty, a local 4-year-old labrador retriever who had a few episodes of vomiting, was sent to the emergency department last Friday afternoon by his primary veterinary provider (PVP) after his owner called the office requesting advice.
Samantha McMurphy, Rusty’s owner, was reached for comment. “I got a little worried about Rusty, since it isn’t like him to throw up. After the third time it happened, he started to look pretty droopy, just staring off and panting a bit. I figured I had better call the vet to see what to do.”
“They told me they couldn’t work him in, since it was 3:15 p.m. on a Friday. They said to take him straight to the ER because he could have appendicitis. I asked which hospital, and they said St. Mary’s. I told them I didn’t know of a St. Mary’s Vet Hosptial, and they replied that I should just take him to the St. Mary’s that cares for people. I thought that seemed strange, but I loaded up Ol’ Russ and we drove on over.”
While in triage, Mc Murphy mentioned to the nurse that her PVP had recommended lab work, IV fluids, and a full-body CT scan. Rusty then had to wait for 3 hours to be seen, as there were 29 patients (including 2 other dogs, a kitten with a fever, a gerbil covered in lube, and a comatose parakeet) in the ER waiting room.
“They told me that you guys could sedate him for the scan,” McMurphy reported to the ER physician on duty.
“My vet also said that he probably needed to be admitted, and that you should just call the hospitalist on duty when his tests come back positive.”
At press time, Rusty was licking his balls on the medical ward, awaiting a nuclear medicine gastric emptying study. Just two short days into his admission, he learned to press the nurse call bell when he needed more Dilaudid for 10 barks out 10 pain.